Lots of good stuff today, so getting right to it:
1. Very interesting study from Lynn Vavreck and Ryan D. Enos about how candidates can affect voters' perceptions of reality, centered on Newt's rhetoric about food stamps. A point off, however, for beginning the last paragraph with "In what is sure to be a close contest."
2. Fun from Nate Silver: the Reagan count. Also, Tim Murphy reviews the actual history of Newt and Reagan. Conor Friedersdorf collects some of his recent unorthodox positions. And John Pitney thinks Newt would lose if he debated Barack Obama.
3. Moving on to Romney...Sarah Posner was watching when Romney talked religion at the last debate; and, yes, Romney lies a lot, says Jonathan Chait.
4. Joshua Huder had a very nice post, sort of pegged to Santorum, about "insiders" and "outsiders" and reform. Hint: Richard Bolling is mentioned.
5. How's that austerity working out for you? David Leonhardt has a chart.
6. Here comes the 2012 edition of the Wesleyan Media Project. Bookmark, now.
7. Sarah Binder is doing some Fed -- and Congress -- watching.
8. Are liberals using anti-Semetic language to talk about (very legitimate) policy positions on Israel? Spencer Ackerman makes the case.
9. Stan Collender argues that OMB director is a good path to the Oval Office -- but only for one side of the big desk.
10. Adam Serwer, very good as always, this time on Leon Panetta's account of extrajudicial executions of American citizens accused of terrorism.
11. And Alyssa Rosenberg on Spike Lee, George Lucas, and Hollywood.